BANGOR — The second annual Cross Insurance Center Gala was held April 11 in the Grand Ballroom of the Cross Insurance Center. With more than 50 sponsors and 400 guests attending, residents from throughout central and eastern Maine hailed the arrival of spring with an evening that celebrated economic and community development in the Bangor region.

“As a result of the dedication of our Gala sponsors, donors and event volunteers, we were able to host a most successful fundraiser — the biggest night of charitable giving ever in Bangor,” said Miles Theeman, member of the Friends of the Cross Insurance Center. “The support we received has an incredible impact on the communities we serve, providing funds to help us advance the work of three incredibly deserving nonprofits.”

The Gala featured a reception, dinner and dancing to sounds of the local band, Maine Street R&B Revue. A brief program allowed attendees a glimpse of the entertainment and economic activity that has taken place at the Cross Insurance Center and to learn more about each of the honored nonprofits — Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance, Bangor Area Homeless Shelter and the Shaw House. With the money raised for the event, during the Gala, each organization received a gift of $15,000.

Attendees also had the opportunity to vote on which organization they felt most deserved to go home with an additional $5,000 bonus gift. Toward the end of the evening, Master of Ceremonies Ric Tyler announced that Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance was the bonus gift recipient.

“We were absolutely thrilled and delighted,” said Amanda Cost, community response program manager at the Alliance. “It was incredibly validating to receive the votes for the extra $5,000 gift. This recognition sends a strong message that our community is committed to ending domestic violence. Our work couldn’t happen without the ongoing support from our region. This money will help us help others stay safe.”

“It was so much fun!” said Elizabeth Sutherland, a member of the Friends group and one of the organizers of the event. “We had a great night where the community came together once again to make a difference in our region.”

The Friends group already is planning next year’s Gala. Upcoming details, a full list of 2015 sponsors and links to photos of the event may be found at